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Does Foster Really Need Loaning Out Again?

It’s a sad state of affairs when your goalkeeper is the Man of the Match. It certainly implies a lot about the way the rest of your team played if the man between the sticks is getting all the praise.

However, as United scraped past Derby at Pride Park, following the absolute thrashing Chelsea dished out to them in the previous game, it was our goalkeeper who received all the plaudits.

It wasn’t Edwin Van der Sar though, rather, Ben Foster, making his debut for United after spending the previous two seasons on loan or out injured.

The Times: While the scoreline indicates that Cristiano Ronaldo was Manchester United’s match-winner, Ben Foster, the young England goalkeeper who had been obliged to wait three years for this day, deserved a share of the plaudits as his team regained leadership of the Barclays Premier League. When the bottom team, galvanised by surviving an onslaught for the first 38 minutes in a cup-tie atmosphere, realised that they were in with half a chance, Foster came into his own. But for his two brilliant saves from Kenny Miller’s shots within 60 seconds near the end of the first half, Derby could have been eyeing a shock victory.

The Sun: If ever there was a footballer who deserved to be rewarded for his patience, then it is Ben Foster. Three years at Stoke City — nil appearances. Three more years at Manchester United — a similar story until Saturday. Yet the young goalkeeper already has an England cap to his name. Foster made two brilliant saves from Kenny Miller in a 60-second spell of a match which threatened to leave boss Ferguson more flushed than usual.

Is this the kind of player we want to be sending away from Old Trafford on a season-long loan?

Reports today suggest that Aston Villa are lining up a deal to bring Foster to Villa Park for the duration of the 2008-2009 season. After completing a successful loan period at Watford the season before last and his name being linked to the future England number 1 position, it seems as though everyone wants to get in on the action.

It is my firm belief that Edwin Van der Sar should begin next season as our starting goalkeeper. I find it strange that he receives little praise in the media, particularly in comparison to the likes of Petr Cech, who is never as competent at VDS.

We could play him out of sentimentality, after it was his save that won us the European Cup back in May. However, he can just as easily be played on merit, after enjoying a fantastic season with us, followed by a brilliant Euro Championships with Holland, where he made several saves of the tournament.

Tomasz Kuszczak is a fairly safe keeper, and one I’m happy enough to see as our reserve. He is prone to the odd mistake (namely giving away penalties against Portsmouth and Arsenal, as well as making a mess of a save against Sporting Lisbon last season, costing us a goal at Old Trafford) but I don’t have too many complaints about him. However, I’d much rather Foster warming our bench.

If we are to send Foster out at the beginning of the season, it means he will miss the League Cup games. If we send him out for the second half of the season, it means he will miss out on the FA Cup.

However, after a year without regular football, due to the recovery from his cruciate injury, maybe it would be in Foster’s best long term interests to start for another Premiership club for another season. He could get his match fitness up and improve his experience, ready to come back to United next season to replace the retired Van der Sar.

Do you think we should loan Foster out again this season?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Kings says:

    I’m not overly keen on seeing Foster loaned out as I think he should be our number, but if it is believed that EVS has one more season, then it might be a good idea for him to be loaned out. Villa could be a good move for him I reckon, leave him there for a season and bring him back to claim the number 1 jersey at United. I agree about the lack of plaudits EVS recieves, he is a much better keeper than Cech, and much more reliable in the big games. It was Cech who cost the Czechs a place in the Euro 2008 Quarter-Finals.

  2. David Quinn says:

    I think foster needs to stay with us this season and learn from Edwin, if I remember correctly Edwin said he would be retiring at the end of next season. I admire Kuszczak however I think Ben Foster should be number 1. I can’t see either of them being loaned out.

  3. Kevin says:

    I think Foster has to be given more games this year. He is an amazing English talent, a talent that England sorely needs to develop. For a long time, England’s goalies have been a trouble spot and if Foster can establish himself at United than surely he can become England’s #1. I believe he has to start every League and early stages of the FA games. He has to be given the opportunity to play in Europe against smaller teams (If this is an option with points, etc…) I also believe he has to be given a chance in the EPL against smaller teams.

    I love EVS and I think he is one of the best keepers in Europe, but eventually you have to put faith in the young guy and give him a chance. It could become a great move for not only United, but also England. (However, I could careless about England, they can suck as long as United keeps on winning!)

  4. jsos says:

    of course i am in agreement that VDS is a STAR player. i’ll even go out on a limb and say he is our most reliable player on the pitch. he is consistent, and (after a youth of the opposite) level headed player. the dutch claimed him as their manager on the pitch for the euro’s and he most DEFINITELY was the only one keeping them from an embarrassment this summer.

    VDS should definitely be our #1 in this, likely to be his final, year. That said, I would like to see Foster as #2 (as Scott said). He was brilliant against Derby and indeed saved us a huge embarrassment there. He is a better player than Kuz – though I appreciate the waiting game that TK has played for us thus far. This season VDS then Foster IMO. No loaning out, as I feel that could come back to bite us in the ass later in the season

  5. Gary says:

    Foster has to be given a chance at United. If he can just be patient for a little bit longer hes bound to get his chance. Im from Luton and know plenty of Watford season ticket holders who just cant speak highly enough of Ben Foster for what he did at Watford. Sure hel make the odd error but thats to be expected. He has all the atributes to make it at United and he seems to have a very wise head on his young shoulders. He comes across as a level headed bloke.

  6. Jak says:

    I agree that Foster needs to spend next year with VDS, soaking up what he can from the master. That won’t happen at Villa.

    I’d love to see Edwin in a coaching role at United. And Foster as our #1.

    As long as TK isn’t bothered by it, it could work out brilliantly.

  7. Rahul 7 says:

    i think ben foster should be loaned out to aston villa until january atleast

    EVS is obviously going to be first choice, he’s proven and consistant. Ben Foster has been out for a year, so the last thing he would need is to warm the bench.

    At aston villa he’ll get games week in week out at a ambitious club under a great manager. i feel this is more beneficial to him than getting league cup games

  8. Rahul 7 says:

    oh and fergie was going to loan him out last season until EVS got injured again and again…

  9. denton davey says:

    The kid has to play – and if EVS is on the roster then he won’t get game-action.

    Edwin is very, very good – he’s consistent and a very good distributor. But to put him above Peter Cech is sheer lunacy – or rether, it is looking at the world through red glasses.

  10. Drew Vader says:

    Let Kuz go out on loan to maybe one of the three promoted sides and put Foster as our number 2, letting him come in to spell edwin much more often than kuz last year.

    I think it would be a big mistake to let Foster leave the side, if he is not content to be a number 2 right now then discuss the loan, but please dont let him leave permanently. He made some incredible saves for watford.

  11. badger says:

    Personally I think Foster should be given a chance as our number 1, VDS was not his best last season with quite a few mistakes – old age finally creeping up?

    KitKat is a great shot stopper but flaps at crosses and his distribution is abysmal, the defence never looks very confident with him in goal so I would send him on his way – yet another GK who will never make the United grade.

  12. raisnhell says:

    VDS > Foster > TK.
    End of.

  13. Nick says:

    I am a United fan living in Watford and saw Ben first hand for the 2 seasons he was down here. Great shot stopper, fantastic kicker of the ball and so quick off his line he practically plays as a sweeper as well!

    We would be mad to send him out on loan again – ability wise he is the best English keeper and its time time to get him into the first team squad. VDS is still the top man, but with Ben only being 25 we would have no goalkeeping worries for the next 10+ years if we keep hold of him!!

    He’s already a Watford legend so let’s make him a United one as well!

  14. Tom F says:

    Everyone who believes Foster should be first choice keeper needs to give EVDS more credit. He is WORLD CLASS and Foster is new to the game.

    However, I rate Foster highly and can’t wait for him to become United and England number 1. In the mean time, I’d say half a season at Villa would be a good deal to get him the games and if we are short after Xmas get him back.

    TK hardly ever plays so I don’t think a season on the bench is what Foster needs to get back into the swing of things. I am looking forward to pre-season and hope to see him there.


  15. Patrik says:

    Considering that VDS missed about 15 games last season due to injury, I think it would be a good idea to keep Foster at the club. Edwin won’t get less injured this season so he’ll get some games. TK could then be on the bench when Edwin needs some rest.

  16. suhayl says:

    EVS our first keeper..injuries or league cup games or when EVS needs rest then foster our number 2..TK..3rd keeper or loaned out


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